Irving will soon have its own “Signature Bridge” with completion of the new structure under construction to cross Texas Highway 114, connecting the old Texas Stadium site with a large development area across the freeway.
The city spent $11 million left over from the stadium to add special truss features and decorative walkways to the new roadway project being built by the state.
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A new DART Rail transit station is planned at the base of the new bridge.
“It’s going to be a Signature Bridge. It’s going to be a marque infrastructure piece. We wanted to make sure that as people pass under and over that bridge, they knew they were entering into a very special and important development,” Irving City Manager Chris Hillman said.
The new bridge replaces two small old bridges that once connected the stadium with additional parking across the freeway.
Mark Patel, the owner of the Irving Days Inn motel that overlooks the former stadium site, said he welcomes any progress after loss of the Cowboys football games.
“It’s a little struggling, mainly because there’s nothing to see here and nothing to point out,” Patel said. “Because of this bridge, hopefully somebody wants to locate their business here in that empty lot.”
Several plans for office, hotel, residential and retail development on the city owned property have fallen through in the years since Texas Stadium was demolished in April 2010.
The new road has no name yet and new development will not be constructed on the stadium site by the time the bridge is finished. Hillman said the state wants to keep using the city’s property for the next 3 years as a construction staging area for ongoing overpass work. But city officials remain convinced that something big will come along eventually at the site with access to several freeways and DART Rail.
“We feel that this site is going to be successful for any developer that wants to come in and put in an incredible mixed use development,” Hillman said. “We’re being very careful and very strategic with how we develop this site.”
The city’s 80 acres are part of 400 acres of land that could be developed in the area. The City of Irving created a Public Utility District to provide services.
New single family homes are under construction on one plot of land previously owned by the University of Dallas. Another residential development is expected soon adjacent to the University.
“At least with that bridge, it is going to look better than it is looking right now,” Patel said.
The former stadium site has been mentioned as a possible location for Amazon’s second headquarters. The Dallas area is still in the running for Amazon HQ2 but Downtown Dallas is said to be Amazon’s preferred location if the company chooses North Texas.
Hillman said the Irving site will see major development in the future, one way or another.